Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL

Appeal Court to rule today on Quebec City mosque shooter’s life sentence

Quebec’s highest court is scheduled to deliver its ruling today on appeals to the life sentence of Alexandre Bissonnette, who shot and killed six men in a Quebec City mosque in 2017.

Bissonnette was sentenced in February 2019 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 40 years.

Both sides appealed the ruling: the defence said the killer should be allowed a parole hearing in 25 years while the Crown said 40 years wasn’t enough, and Bissonnette should not have the possibility to leave prison before 50 years.

The Crown also asked the Quebec Court of Appeal to create a legal framework that will guide judges regarding sentences involving multiple murders.

The Criminal Code allows a judge to deliver consecutive sentences in blocks of 25 years, but the trial judge in Bissonnette’s case rewrote the law and instead sentenced the killer to 40 years.

Bissonnette pleaded guilty in March 2018 to six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder. His victims were Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press